High End vs Drugstore Primers

Sunday, 10 May 2015

I often wonder whether spending more money on the high end brands is really worth it. Do they do the job better? Are the ingredients better? Do they last longer? I didn't really know much about primers so went into MAC a couple of years ago to ask their advice on the best one for my skin type and was recommended the MAC Prep + Prime Skin. However, I wasn't that impressed with it, I didn't think it minimised the appearance of my pores that well and it definitely didn't make my make up last longer. Having read many raving reviews about the Benefit Porefessional, I was eager to get my hands on that instead, however, the price always put me off, at £24.40, it’s not the cheapest primer and was more expensive than the one from MAC (which is £21). As a cheaper option I purchased Maybelline's Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser Lightweight Primer (£7.99) and whilst I liked it, the gel texture was something that really put me off and I wasn't convinced it made my make up last longer. Therefore, when I was in New York earlier in the year, I treated myself to the Benefit Porefessional and instantly fell in love, so how do the three compare?

As I've already mentioned, the Maybelline Baby Skin has a gel texture which I'm not a fan of. I feel like it's quite thick on my skin, although admittedly, it does feel lighter once it's blended in. Alternatively, the Benefit Porefessional is a lightweight balm which feels so nice once applied to the skin and definitely has a nicer scent to it. However, the MAC Prep + Prime Skin is definitely my favourite consistency, it's more of a light cream and so it's like applying moisturiser to your face and it doesn't feel like it's clogging up your pores. 

Long Lasting
The main reason for me choosing to wear a primer, is to help my make up to last longer. As I've already mentioned, I was really disappointed with MAC's Prep + Prime Skin as I didn't think it made my make up last longer, especially on a night out. Whilst at first I was quite impressed with the Maybelline Baby Skin, the more I use it, the less convinced I am that it helps my make up to stay in place all day. Having said that, it does minimise the appearance of pores, which is key for a primer. Conversely, there is no debating how well the Benefit Porefessional helps my make up to stay in place all day, I now touch up my make up a lot less throughout the day. Also, it does minimise the appearance of pores really well, if I have a quiet day, I'll just apply this primer with a bit of concealer and powder, rather than use a foundation or BB cream.

It's clear to see that the Maybelline Baby Skin is so much cheaper than the Benefit Porefessional and the MAC Prep + Prime Skin despite my criticisms of it, I do think it is a great alternative to the high end products, if they're out of your price range. I still use the Baby Skin for work in an attempt to save the pricier primer for days out and special occasions. However, price isn't everything, as the MAC Prep + Prime skin is my least favourite out of all of these three and yet it's not the cheapest!

MAC's Prep + Prime Skin comes in a simplistic black pump action bottle. I must admit, I'm a massive fan of the MAC branding and all of their packaging, it's very minimalist, as often their products speak for themselves (though maybe not in this case!). In contrast, Maybelline's Baby Skin comes in a bright tube, in line with their 'Baby Lips' range which I think is really cute, but can make it appear a little 'young'. Alternatively, Benefit are known for their packaging and branding and the Porefessional is no different. A professional looking woman on top off cream and duck egg blue stripes, ties in with their play on words for the name of this product. Benefit always manage to entice me in with their quirky packaging.

So in answer to my thoughts at the beginning, I don't think spending more money and going for a more high end product is always worth it. Although not as expensive as the Benefit Porefessional, MAC is normally considered a high end brand and yet, it's my least favourite of all these primers. Despite being the cheapest by far, I would recommend the Maybelline's Baby Skin over the MAC Prep + Prime skin. However, if your budget allows you, I would definitely recommend the Benefit Porefessional as being the best primer I've tried.

 What primer do you love?

Revision Tips

Thursday, 7 May 2015

I can't say I'm a fan of this time of year; the weather is always really nice and yet students all over the country are stuck inside revising. Having sat exams for my GCSE's, A Levels, Undergraduate Degree and now my Masters, it's safe to say I've done my fair share of revision. However, around this time I always get so stressed, a bit down about how much stuff I don't know and become jealous of all those who don't have exams. It does mean that I've learnt a lot over the years and have developed some tips to make revision that little bit easier.

1./Make a revision timetable
Every year the teachers would bang on about revision timetables and how helpful they are. When I did my GCSE's I did a really extensive revision timetable, all colour coded and neat, but I ended up spending more time on that than I did on my actual revision. Now I just jot down on a piece of paper what I want to achieve and by when. That way, I don't waste loads of time on making a table look all pretty, but I'm still able to plan my revision to ensure I get it all done in time.

2./Take regular breaks
People suggest different work to break ratio's, but I think it's what works best for you. I normally do a couple of hours work and then have a 15 minute break and then break for half an hour for lunch. I'm really bad at taking breaks as I either take too many or just plough on through with my work which proves to not be as effective. 

3./Drink plenty of water
I always keep a glass of water on my desk whilst revising. It's important to keep hydrated whilst working as it helps the brain to function more effectively.

4./Eat properly and regularly
A few years ago, I made the mistake of not paying attention to this tip and ended up making myself really ill. It's important to have three meals a day (and snack in between!) to keep the body energised whilst working. Also, you should try to eat properly, i.e. healthy, balanced meals rather than junk food as junk food doesn't provide you with the nutrients to keep your body going whilst working.

5./It doesn't matter if you have bad days
You're not going to have productive days every day. I used to really beat myself up about this and make myself sit at my desk until I had achieved all that I had planned to. However, this is really counter-productive. It's best just to acknowledge you've had a bad day, chill out in the evening and come back to it fresh the next day.

6./Exercise Regularly
There's that cliché saying 'healthy body, healthy mind', but it's so true. I always make sure I exercise in the evening after revision as it helps to re-energise you and gives you something other than revision to focus on.

7./Give yourself something to look forward to
When I have long periods of revision, I always try to plan something for one or two evenings in the week to try and take my mind off of work. It may be dinner with friends, a movie night or a take away, whatever it is, it's important to be able to chill out and take a step back from revision. I usually have something big planned for after my exams too, this year I've got Radio 1's Big Weekend to look forward to.

8./Get enough sleep
It's important to get enough sleep in order to keep you going for a busy day of revision. I know some people work better at night, but I'm much more productive in the day, especially the morning, I always get at least 8 hours sleep and make sure I go to bed at a decent enough time to ensure I'm refreshed the next day. 

9./Don't compare yourself to others
One of the worst things you can do at this time of year is compare how much work you've done to how much your friend has, especially if you haven't done as much. We all work at a different pace and revise in different ways, so don't stress if you don't think you're at the same point as your friend, you'll get there in your own time.

10./Don't Stress!
This is very hypocritical of me to say as I'm the biggest worrier ever and get stressed so easily, but it's important to stay calm otherwise you won't be productive, Every year I have a day where I just breakdown and refuse to believe that I can pass my exams. If you've put the work in, you'll often know more than you think!  

Do you have any revision tips? Let me know in the comments below.

April Favourites

Sunday, 3 May 2015

As I went to write this post, I noticed that I never uploaded a March Favourites, so I do apologise for that. However, somehow we're now at the end of April and I have a few favourites to share with you.

I have a couple of the Maybelline Color Tattoo's already and find them ideal as a base for my eyeshadow if I'm not using a primer. I had heard many good reviews of the shade 'On and on Bronze' and so I was eager to give it a try. When I first tried it, it was a lot darker than I had expected, so I only use a tiny amount and it adds a lovely base to my eyeshadow, especially if I'm using lighter colours. If I'm in a really lazy mood, I will just wear it on it's own and it lasts all day without creasing which is very rare for cream eyeshadows.

I bought this lipgloss last year when Tanya Burr first launched her cosmetics range, I spent ages in Superdrug trying to decide which one to buy as I loved all of the different shades. However, I settled on 'Afternoon Tea' and wore it all Summer. When it came to the Winter I stopped using it as much, instead preferring to wear darker lipsticks and lipglosses. However, with this warmer weather we've been having lately, I've been wearing it constantly, it's perfect for a lovely 'summery' make up look and I'll definitely be returning to Superdrug to stock up again for the Summer as I'm nearly all out.

Buying sunglasses is one of my biggest nightmares, I can never find any that suit me and so every time a pair break I dread buying new ones. However, a few weeks ago, I was in River Island and found these half frame tortoise shell ones, I tried them on and for the first time ever, fell in love with a pair of sunglasses. They've been perfect these past few weeks with the hot weather and I dread the day they break. 

These featured in my Spring OOTD post so I won't ramble on about them too much here. However, they are honestly the comfiest shoes I own. I've worn them non stop since buying them and they're so versatile to wear, I can dress them up or down depending on what I'm doing. I love them so much!

I know I'm extremely late to the party with one, but I have been loving this TV series this month. As I've mentioned in many previous 'Favourites' posts, Emil and I always have a TV series on the go that we watch when we're together. Searching through Netflix we came across 'Heroes' and I had heard so many good things about it years ago, but had never got round to watching it, so I'm catching up with it now. For those who don't know, it's about these individuals who have special powers eg. regeneration, invisibility, flying, time travelling etc and there's others who are out to help them, but also there's a man named 'Sylar' who is attempting to kill them all in order to absorb their powers. There's so many different plot twists, that you are constantly on the edge of your seat. There's about 20 episodes and I think 4 seasons, so it'll be a while until we finish it, but I'm absolutely loving it!

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What have you been loving this month? Let me know in the comments below.

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